Japan to modernize its toilets to boost tourism
NHK -- Jan 05
The Japanese government will launch a project to convert all traditional squat toilets in popular tourist destinations into sit-on types that are more commonly used in other developed countries.

The project is part of the government's efforts to boost the annual number of foreign visitors to 40 million by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics. The figure is about 1.7 times larger than that for 2017.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, about 40 percent of the toilets at 4,000 locations in popular tourist spots in Japan are traditional types which require users to squat over them. These toilets put off many foreign visitors.

The Agency will provide local governments with subsidies to cover a third of the renovation costs. The Agency adds that the subsidies program will also help cover the costs of installing new, modern toilets, or equipping existing toilets with high-tech washing functions.

The Agency says the toilet renovation campaign will also help elderly people, Japanese or foreign, who may have difficulty squatting down, or young Japanese children who are not used to traditional toilets.

News source: NHK
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